Review – “The Game of Secrets” by Saurish Hegde

I’ve been a fan of sci-fi ever since my husband got me hooked on it. From watching movies to laying my hands on books with this theme, I always am looking out for it. One such book that recently came for my review is The Game of Secrets by Saurish Hegde, a sci-fi suspense thriller, which I didn’t know was one before reaching the last page.
It follows the protagonist, Nishanth Hegde on his journey to becoming a good doctor, a Samaritan, a lover, and a savior.

Nishanth is an upcoming oncologist in the city of Mangaluru. Although he is the heir to his father’s chain of hospitals in the city and all over the country, Nishanth wants to carve a path of his own and do something for the greater good. For this, he enlists the help of Kashyap, a local politician, with the aim of fighting the election and being a messiah for the underprivileged. Kashyap, unwilling at the beginning, later accepts Nishnath’s proposal and forms a party with his help and funds. While Nishanth had planned to fight the elections himself, he decides against it seeing the popularity Kashyap enjoys. Their rival party leader, Adishakti, who is a seasoned politician, gets worried about all the good work Nishanth and Kashyap have been doing and plans to take them out before the voting. As it happens, her adopted son Dhanush executes the plan which leaves Nishanth and Kashyap’s party in shambles. Of course, they lose. In spite of the fact that the loss hit them hard, Nishanth takes to supporting Kashyap and motivates him to re-group and plan for the future. Meanwhile, Nishanth, who at 32 years of age is still single and not ready to mingle, finds love at first sight in Navya, the daughter of his father’s friend.
All is going well until the day Nishanth receives a call from his scientist friend, Ramdas, asking him to be a part of an experiment he is conducting that would change the world healthcare. A little apprehensive about the project, Nishanth agrees to visit Ramdas on the condition that he would only participate if he found this super confidential experiment worth. Therefore, he breaks up with Navya, tells his parents about his imminent journey to Europe and leaves.
When Nishanth comes back, he is a changed man. What happened at Ramdas’s lab altered him in the most unexpected way. Using his newfound change useful, Nishanth carries on with his life, but not for long. There is someone who is after him, and his blood, literally!
Who are these men? Why do they want Nishanth? What do they know about the secret experiment that happened in Ramdas’s lab? How far would they go to achieve their motives?

When I picked this book up, I was surprised to find the number of pages less than 200, it’s a suspense thriller and I was wondering if the story could really be so short as to be done in fewer words. Still, I went ahead and to my disappointment, I found a good and potential plotline being handled carelessly. To begin with, there were editing/printing errors before I even reached page 10, which continued throughout the length of the book. Narrated in the third person, the language was lucid but the storytelling was lousy, and along with poor editing, it didn’t do much good. The script could have done better with more thorough proofreading, and yes, a detailed story instead of a rushed one. There were numerous instances that left me looking for more information, for example, the Hegdrons, the concept explaining it was quite unclear to me, I would have liked it to be explained with much more zeal and depth. Another thing that was left midway was the introduction of various characters, of Shravya, Nishanth’s uncle, the architecture whose daughter studied in Navya’s class, all were mentioned only once during the course of the story, and I was expecting them to turn up later in the story but they didn’t, which seemed a little out of place. The main characters, however, were built-up initially but were left midway, and the focus was back to finishing off the story hastily. At a few places, I found the timeline skewed, was it a month or a year…I couldn’t figure out since it could have been both as per the writing.
I always believe that if the plotline is good, it should be cooked and delivered like the most important meal of the day. What I found in this book is similar, though it was undercooked with rapidity. A little more background information, a little more characterization, a little more explanation of the scenes, a little more synchronization of the events, and a little less use of unimportant characters would have made it cut across.


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